A Void in You
by Gerardo Suarez

"Our paths crossed and I was more than ready to become whatever she wanted out of someone."

A chance meeting at a late night bar leads the author of this dark memoir into a labyrinth of obsession and regret. After agreeing to go to a country music joint where the cover price is too high and beer too cheap, he and his buddy leave and prowl a seedy bar. There, probably a bit too buzzed, he begins to flirt with an extraordinarily beautiful girl named Samantha. He and she seem to hit it off, and the chase is on. Samantha appears spontaneous, interesting, and interested. He starts to wonder if this could be the love of his life. But almost as soon as the relationship looks poised to heat up, it begins to slowly cool. In all, Suarez is with Samantha only “on five uniquely scattered days within the timeline of countless months.” Yet somehow, these few encounters with her are enough to wear him down until he feels defeated, like an old man. At one point she tells him, mysteriously, “I don’t want you to have to wait for me.” She seems like his ideal partner, but, in the end, it is she who will not wait for him.

Suarez has created a bleak, noir ambience, contrasting the warmth and kindness of his family with Samantha’s inexplicable remoteness. He writes lyrically, and includes poetry in his story. Still, though the book is laden with genuine feelings—depression, anxiety, hope, longing, bliss—it does not convince the reader as it could. The five-day romance is not sufficient glue to hold together the story of utter desolation Suarez wishes to tell. What is offered is a pallid dirge to a goddess who gives nothing, only receives without gratitude, composed by a worshipper trapped in the void of her selfishness and his indecision. A Void in You offers moments of intense emotion expressed by someone who was caught up in a brief, futile relationship.

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